Friday, May 11, 2012

Multiple Choice English Teaching to be Turned Into MMORPG

It's been said that if you think you can learn a language purely by answering multiple choice questions, you deserve everything you get, but while there has been a growing acknowledgement in Korean society that this method doesn't work, nobody seems to know what to do about it because nobody has been provided with five choices from which to choose.

But now a radical initiative has been launched to take multiple choice English exams into the Internet age, and in so doing leveraging one of the things which Korea does best. The plan calls for the English education system to be turned into a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, or MMORPG, in which English students would log in and make choices which would affect their character - or avatar - which is an approximation of the avatar they would otherwise send to their school or hagwon.

The MMORPG, which is written in Korean in order to be understood by as many English students as possible, lets the student's character move around a virtual world called 'Happy Corea', making choices at various points which are presented in English. Typically, the student can choose one of five choices, and their character develops based on these decisions. The developers say that it could be the first time many Koreans get to make choices which have any meaningful outcome.

But controversy has already struck the MMORPG. As part of the environment, a select handful of English tutors were encouraged to participate in the game as part of their existing contracts, but its provision of an environment free of normal social conventions led to complaints of harassment when it was found that most players tended to form groups which would then attack the foreigners.

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